Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spiders, anyone?

So, here in Hancock, there are a lot of spiders. Not just itsy bitsy spiders (ha! I couldn't resist that one!), but REALLY BIG, HAIRY spiders. At first, we just saw them in the basement. My basement resembles a dungeon, I think mostly because it has a stone foundation, so none of the walls are perfectly flat--there's curves all over the place, but also because the ceiling is low and there's more than a couple of dark corners. So I wasn't surprised to see spiders down there. But I was surprised by the sheer SIZE of them. I've really never seen spiders this big (except for tarantulas, but who has seen them in person?--okay, BESIDES the one at the library?). The spiders in my basement have to be 2 inches big, which doesn't sound like much, but when you see them every time you go downstairs, they can be pretty intimidating! But still, I wasn't too much bothered by them...until they started to creep upstairs! We saw one in the dining room, and then the biggest one yet in the girls' bedroom (he later became Oliver's pet for a while, named Spikey), and then now we see them almost EVERY DAY! Yikes! I still can't quite get used to the sight of them, though. There's just something creepy about seeing something crawling on the floor out of the corner of your eye. Even creepier--a friend who has lived here for a while (and who is fond of these critters, if you can imagine that!) said the other day--"they'll disappear for a while, but I think they start hatching in February, so you'll see more then,"....gulp! More?

This was Oliver's pet spider, Spikey. I know he doesn't LOOK that big, but really, he was! Anyone who saw him was really creeped out!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Surprise day #3!

We got the idea to do letterboxing from some friends of ours and decided to give it a whirl on Labor Day. Letterboxing is similar to geocaching (sp), except it just uses good old fashioned clues instead of a GPS (which is good since we don't have a GPS to start with!). I think you are supposed to find a box at each location with a theme related stamp of some sort. You then use this stamp in your own notebook or binder to document your journey and I think leave a stamp of your own. So we looked up a place to hike and were on our way. It was amazing how much more interesting a hike becomes when you're following clues and searching for a park bench or a swamp or a pond with lily pads. Everything takes on a whole new meaning! It was really a lovely hike--nice soft path, and tons of birch, pine, maple and oak trees. There were even a few plaques with tree identifiers, so now I can tell the difference between a red and a white pine. I'm sure you're dying to know--just ask! Here are some photos of our first experience

Arriving at the trail head

I love this picture..

...and this one, too.

Searching for the box (which was supposed to contain a bear stamp, I think). But, sadly, we never found it!

General horsing around (actually, Daddy was giving me bunny ears in the hopes of getting an authentic smile...I think it worked!)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Here's a memory from late July, probably. I just had to put a photo of these berries up. Aren't they gorgeous?? These are all berries that we picked from our garden (bless the hearts of our industrious previous home owners!) We LOVED having all these raspberries right outside our door. We made many a batch of raspberry ice cream that was quickly consumed (before Weight Watchers, of course!) All the kids gobble up the berries (there are black, red, and golden raspberries, strawberries, blackberries (which I'm not as crazy about), and a very few blueberries). There are also a few cherry trees (not producing yet), an apple tree, and a plum tree (fairly sporadic producers, too). There are also a TON of herbs (previous owners were big on tea), asparagus, and a few raised bed plots (look for tomatoes and basil next summer!). I think Jared was sold on this house before we even walked inside. Need I say more?


Happy to say that I'm getting the hang of blogging a bit more here! Just wish it wasn't always at midnight.... ;) So here's a photo of Eva, Oliver, and Lucy right before we headed off to school for the first day. Oliver is in the Young Five classroom, and Eva is going into 2nd grade. Since we live in Hancock and the kids are "school of choice" enrolled in Houghton, we will be driving the kids there every day. They were both a little disappointed that they won't be riding the bus; I should tell them of my long bus ride and vomit stories to cure them of that. Ha!

We did "steal" a tradition from some friends of ours for the day before school. It is called "Family Feast", and is held the day before school starts. A family "theme" for the year is introduced, complete with crowns, and, of course, a feast! Since we've never done this before, we started out small. We let the kids choose their own meal (they opted for hamburgers, brats, chips, beans, and SODA!), but we did have a nice tablecloth, napkins, and candlelight (okay, so the light filtered in), but they still loved it! They gobbled up their food, and were moderately attentive when we talked about the theme. We are going to have "Follow the Prophet" as our theme, and have 2 Family Home Evenings a month where we have a lesson from a book called "Before They Turn 12" (based on the For the Strength of Youth booklets), and the other two where we learn about a prophet of the church (watch video clips, tell stories about that prophet, etc.). Jared is teaching a "Teaching of the Living Prophets" class this fall at Institute, so it should provide some nice carryover. Afterwards, Jared gave Eva and Oliver a Father's blessing. We recorded them, and I want to type them up and print them on nice paper so they can keep them from year to year and re-read them. I think it will be a great tradition for us, and one that has so many wonderful facets to focus on.